Harper: Van Wagenen "Lived Up To His Word" With Deal For DeGrom

Brodie van Wagenen made good on his promise to take care of his players, John Harper says.

Ferrall On The Bench
March 28, 2019 - 9:15 am

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After an offseason where it appeared a deal might not get done at all, the Mets finally inked ace Jacob deGrom to a long-term contract.

DeGrom signed a 5-year deal worth around $137.5 million. The reigning NL Cy Young winner can now focus solely on the new season and not on his contractual future. Mets fans can do the same.

“When you get that extension two years out of free agency, at age 30, you’re going to have to give up some money,” SNY MLB analyst John Harper said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s still an awful lot of money. He could’ve waited it out and gotten more if he had waited and gotten closer to free agency … at age 30 it has almost become something that, analytically, teams are deciding that players are being devalued after that age. You’re seeing all these guys, these younger guys, are going for extensions because they’re fearing that that money might not be there in free agency.”

DeGrom had set a deadline of opening day for an extension to be agreed with the Mets, and the team met that deadline with just a few days to spare, despite not having to re-sign him so soon. An arbitration ruling this winter set deGrom up to make $17 million this season, and the team would’ve had control of his rights until 2020 even if a new deal hadn’t been reached.

“The GM, Brodie van Wagenen, has lived up to his word. He was in a tough spot. If he didn’t get this done for a guy that was his client, deGrom … it would’ve looked really bad, because he’s preaching this players first culture there as a former agent who wants to treat the players first in all things. He had to get that done.”

Van Wagenen did his job, and now manager Mickey Callaway has to do his. Last year was Callaway’s first with the Mets, but he still took a bit of criticism as the team failed to meet expectations and finished fourth in the NL East with a 77-85 record.

“I gotta see more from Callaway. He had a rough year as a first-year manager. He has gotten help now, with (Jim) Riggleman in the dugout, as a bench coach, a national league guy. Callaway needed that, but I still have to see more from him to see whether he can handle a team that’s actually in a pennant race.”